Bears' Zach Miller Announces Retirement

Bears tight end Zach Miller
Photo credit Matt Marton/USA Today Sports
(670 The Score) One of the most respected players the Bears organization has come to know, veteran tight end Zach Miller announced his retirement in an Instagram post Tuesday afternoon.

Miller, 34, last played in 2017, a season that ended with a horrific injury to his left leg that nearly led to amputation. He entered the NFL in 2009 and recorded 146 receptions, 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns in a career that included time with the Jaguars and Bears.

"To the city of Chicago, my beloved bears fans and NFL fans everywhere," Miller wrote in his post. "The time has come to move on from playing the game of football. It has been an incredible journey for myself and my entire family and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support. I would love more than anything to step on Soldier Field one last time, but I physically cannot give the game and our fans what they deserve. It’s difficult to find words to express my love and gratitude to every single person that has cheered my name, picked me up and stood strong with me throughout my time in this league. I am forever grateful. 

"To the McCaskey Family and the entire Bears organization, THANK YOU for changing my life! To my Family, teammates and coaches, I value nothing more than the friendships and love I have gained from this game! I love you all!"And to everyone else chasing a dream... never stop, never settle! • -Z."

Miller signed with the Bears in 2014 and played 33 games with the team. He recorded 101 receptions 1,161 yards and 11 touchdowns with Chicago.

During a game in New Orleans in late October 2017, Miller suffered a gruesome injury as his left leg bent awkwardly while landing in an attempt to make a catch. He would undergo an emergency procedure to repair a torn popliteal artery in his left leg, with the surgery ultimately saving his left leg from amputation.

Miller had vowed that he would continue to push forward with the hopes of playing again. He had hoped to reach a point of health to which he could at least properly weigh the chances of a comeback to the field. 

Miller has long been considered one of the most respected and popular players in the Bears locker room, and that didn't change even as he was sidelined by injury.

"He’s as humble, down to earth, happy person that just loves life," Bears coach Matt Nagy said of Miller. "He loves people, and he’s a great teammate. Our guys feed off him, I feed off him. You’re just talking about one of those guys that you want on your team and you want to be part of who you are and what you do."

Added defensive lineman Akiem Hicks in 2017: "When it comes to being a human being, I don’t there’s more of a caring, charismatic gentleman – on and off the field. He plays the game hard, but he’s easy to talk to and somebody I consider to be a good friend.”

The Bears signed Miller to a split contract last offseason that allowed him to remain as part of the team and continue to rehab his leg at Halas Hall. It remains a possibility that Miller will stay with the organization in a new capacity.

Miller was recognized last week as winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, voted on by his teammates and given to the player who "best displays professionalism, strength, dedication and is a community role model."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​